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The Comeback

ComebackWe all need a comeback.

In his latest book,Louie Giglio shares several stories, from scripture, from others’ experiences and even his own life, to underline the fact that at some level, everyone needs a comeback. It could be a huge comeback, where huge obstacles are overcome with God’s help. Or, as he states in an early chapter, “it may be a deeper sort of comeback, where Jesus redeems the worst of our circumstances for his glory and our best.”

We all need a comeback.

One of the more powerful parts of the books was when Giglio shared about the comebacks in his life. He shares with some vulnerability a time in his life when he needed a comeback, where he needed God to move in his life and help him overcome a setback. One of the refreshing parts of his personal story was that it wasn’t instantaneous. God didn’t swoop in and deliver him from his struggle with a quick stroke of His brush. It was a process, where God taught him and grew him.

I think at times we want God to come in and, in a moment, solve the problem we are experiencing. While I believe God can do that, it doesn’t seem to be the way He chooses to operate. Giglio’s story shows a dependence on God to move and the process God took him through.

As Giglio shared stories from scripture, I found the chapter on Samson to be so relatable. While Samson had uncommon strength, he displayed the same problems many of us face. He made poor decisions, sometimes more than once. He had areas of weakness where he continued to stumble. While Samson had some pretty remarkable victories, he also had a number of just bad choices. Isn’t that the story of a lot of people? We experience success, but then it’s followed by a bad decision, missed opportunity or some level of failure. What we see in Samson is that despite his poor decisions (where we may be wondering what Samson was thinking when he did what he did), God still uses him. God still offers Samson a comeback in the midst of his missteps and struggles.
The Comeback is also pretty quotable. This was probably one of the more powerful statements in the book: You may not run the exact race you thought you would be running, but God still has a race for you.

That’s a good description of the message of the book. Whatever our race might look like or where we are on the journey, we all need a comeback and God is working for our best and for His glory.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Mexico House Build Team is Set!

1mission_4Our team for our Spring Break House Build Trip to Rocky Point, Mexico is set. We now officially have 14 people who will make up the team that will travel at the end of March.

Our airline tickets have been reserved, travel insurance has been purchased, a van and trailer for our post-flight drive is set and we are in the process of raising funds for the trip. Over the past two Saturdays we have provided concessions for a Karate Tournament and the first game of our Upward Basketball season. We have 7 more weeks of Upward and hope to be able to underwrite some of the trip costs through those efforts.

Several of our team members have also been sending out support letters to those outside of our church family and people are responding with generosity. One of the humbling parts of a mission trip such as this is to experience how many people offer financial and prayer support.

We are looking forward to our experience with 1MISSION as Spring Break week draws closer. Be watching for updates!

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Report on the State of Social Media 2015

My daughter is a marketing intern at U of L and works in the digital side of things. She retweeted a link about the current state of the major social media networks. I have posted some articles on the supposed decline of Facebook and the growth of Instagram in the past, so I found the article interesting. Simply Measured did a report to be a resource for people working with social media. I kind of glanced through the 47 page report, but thought this graphic was very compelling.

It’s kind of mind-blowing to think that Facebook has 1.4 billion monthly active users and 936 million daily active users. Instagram has 70 million photos per day, there are over 500 million tweets per day and 1 billion views each day on YouTube. That’s a lot of activity in our digital world.

Kind of makes the number of followers I have seem pretty small.

Found this information interesting and wanted to pass it along.

State of Social Media

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Social Media Tips for Parents

I receive a regular email from a youth ministry organization called YouthSpecialties.  They offer training, resources and events for those in youth ministry.  This week’s email contained a helpful video of an interview with Jakob Eckeberger, a volunteer youth worker and an employee of YouthSpecialties who is involved in the social media side of things.

Eckeberger offers some tips and insights to parents about social media.  He makes some good observations, especially regarding the growth of technology and the fact that we live in a word with no technological boundaries.  He makes a comment that phones used to be stuck to the wall and TV’s were huge boxes that sat in our living rooms. Now, it is everywhere.

I thought this was a beneficial resource for parents and wanted to pass it along.  You can see all the original content on the YouthSpecialties Blog.

Here’s the actual interview and below the video is the breakdown that YS provided.

3 THINGS THAT INFLUENCE HOW KIDS USE SOCIAL MEDIA TODAY:

1. We live in a world with no technological boundaries.

In my generation, we grew up with some really firm boundaries on our technology. Phones had cords that plugged into walls. The internet was only available through dial-up. Big box televisions were the only way to watch TV shows. Those literal boundaries around our technology helped us come to understand who we were outside of it. Today, there are zero boundaries to our technology. This constant, 24/7 access to technology leaves a huge impact on our kids, inviting things like social media to become an important part of their personal, mental, and sociological development.

2. Social media becomes a window through which we see and experience the world around us.

This means that apps like Instagram aren’t merely used to post pictures. Instagram becomes a window through which we answer important questions like: Who am I? Where do I fit in? Does my life matter?

We aren’t just consuming answers to those questions through the images we see on Instagram, we’re actually creating our responses. We create images to tell stories of our daily life and then compare it to what everyone else is creating. This is a significant thing for kids who are just starting to figure out who there are and where/if they fit in.

3. The fallacy that everything on line is temporary.

Darrel Girardier shared a GREAT POST that touched on this. Apps like Snapchat tap into this idea that content on the internet can be easily deleted. But we know from experience (SNAPCHAT LEAKS 100,000 PHOTOS) that it’s not always the case. Once we post something, we have very little control over what happens to it.

3 THINGS THAT PARENTS CAN DO:

1. Recognize that the issue isn’t the technology, but how that technology is used.

Most of the technology available to our kids today, and specifically things like social media, aren’t necessarily evil. It’s all in how the technology is used. When we give our kids a smart phone, we’re giving them technology that comes with a ton of responsibility. We can’t protect our kids from all the bad ways that this technology can be used, but we can help them live into the incredible amount of responsibility that they’ve been given. To borrow from Walt Mueller, it’s all apart of helping students think critically and Christianly about what they post before they post it.

2. Create boundaries around technology.

Sit down as a family to create blackout times and locations in your house where every screen is turned off, and the phones and tablets are put away. Have family game nights, or dinner times when you intentionally connect with one another. Buy an old-fashioned alarm clock to have in your room so that you don’t need your phone at night.

3. Be the example.

Ideally, parents would be modeling healthy uses of technology for their kids. So set boundaries that your entire family can agree on. That way, as a parent, you can be the first one to step away from your phone or tablet. By being the example, you can show what a healthy relationship with technology looks like.

The YS Idea Labs are filmed on location at the National Youth Workers Convention. Check out more YS Idea Labs HEREand register early for NYWC to save BIG: NYWC.COM.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Support Spring Break House Build Trip

assets-sharable-1mission_7We are looking forward to our Spring Break House Build Trip to Rocky Point, Mexico with 1MISSION. Currently we have twelve people committed to be a part of building a home for a family and are even looking to add a few more to our group before the end of January. The trip will take place March 28 – April 2.

To help raise the necessary funds for the trip, we will be providing a concession stand at a Karate Tournament hosted at WCC and during this season’s Upward Basketball games at the church.

You can support this trip by donating needed items for us to serve.  Anything that is donated will help defray the cost of the participants on our trip.

Here is a list of items that would assist our concessions:

12 ounce cans of soda (Pepsi, Coke, Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, etc.)

16.9 ounce bottles of water

All-Star size (12 oz) bottles of Gatorade

Homemade or Store Bought Cookies

Snack Size (1 ounce) bags of chips (Potato Chips, Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos, etc)

Little Debbie Snack Cakes

Candy Bars (Snickers, Baby Ruth, Milky Way, etc.)

Ring Pops, Sour Punch Straws and other individually wrapped candies

Whatever items are donated will be helpful to our group as we raise funds for the trip.  Currently, the cost per person is estimated at $1,200 which includes our airfare, vehicle rental and cost for housing and meals.

Feel free comment on this post or fill out the contact form below. Thanks!

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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#struggles

struggles“We are living for Likes, but we’re longing for love.” In his latest offering Craig Groeschel explores our desire to be connected with others in the ever-growing world of social media. He shares many stories from people who truly are living for “Likes,” whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other outlets.

Some have become so engrossed with our smart phones we have developed a condition called nomophobia – the fear of going without your phone. The author spoke with a number of focus groups made up of young adults who share their struggles with being overly engaged with their phones and devices. Groeschel even shared a personal story of a time he has struggled with being without access to his phone.

Through the book he shared various statistics and stories that point to an obsession with social media engagement. In one chapter these numbers about Facebook were given: “Currently the average American Facebook user has 338 Facebook friends. But surveys indicate that the average American has only two friends they consider to be close. As shocking as that statistic is, I think one is even sadder: 25 percent of Americans today say they have zero close friends.”

While the author (and this reader) admit that there are many advantages we enjoy with smart phones, social media and other communication opportunities, it is easy for those things to become too important to us. Groeschel shares various passages of scripture and practical steps we can take to keep things in balance. Some are as simple as unplugging for 5 minutes each day, determining times when the phone is off-limits and putting filters and other restrictions on our phones. Some are “drastic” as deleting certain apps or unplugging altogether, if necessary.

In an appendix in the book, Groeschel provides The Ten Commandments of Using Social Media to Grow Your Faith and Share God’s Love. With humor, engaging stories and statistics and practical insights, Groeschel offers a timely book that is not just beneficial to the individual reader, but would also be effective as a small group study. The #struggles are real and there is some good advice to be gleaned from this book.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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2015 In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,400 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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